San Diego State (-3) vs. Syracuse
The Aztecs are hot, hot and hot right now! San Diego State has won 14 consecutive games and Syracuse fought and scrapped its way into the NCAA Tournament. The Orange won three of their last four games to earn a ticket to the big dance.
Syracuse away from home has been a disappointment this season. That is something I am betting on happening once again here. The Orange went 2-7 SU away from home and 1-1 on neutral courts.
The only road wins were at Boston College early in the season (Dec 12) and NC State a little over a month ago (Feb 9). Boston College was hit hard with COVID and injuries, while NC State had its fair share of issues.
After that, Syracuse did not win a game away from home until Mar 10 versus NC State again. This time in the ACC Tournament's opening round on a neutral court for Syracuse's only neutral court victory.
On the other hand, San Diego State lost back-to-back games to Utah State over two months ago (Jan 16). Since then, the Aztecs have not lost a game, home or away. Two of San Diego State's four losses have come on the road, both to Utah State, who usually is the team's kryptonite.
The Orange have a size advantage versus the Aztecs, which will be their bread and butter. If Syracuse can rebound and nail the three, they could cover this spread.
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The Aztecs have rebounded well lately, competing on the boards with Utah State (34-31), which is no easy task. San Diego State also does a tremendous job of forcing turnovers and playing a clean game offensively, ranking top 74 in both. Syracuse is a solid offensive rebounding team (97th) and can score (75.8 PPG), but struggles on the defensive glass (339th).
San Diego State has been stellar on the defensive end, allowing the last 10 opponents to average 59.8 points per game and 62.6 in the previous five. This Aztecs' defense is on another level right now.
If San Diego State can limit Syracuse from beyond the arc, I see no reason why San Diego State will not win this game. The Aztecs allow 38.2% of opponent points to come from three on the season (11th-most). That is Syracuse's key to victory.
San Diego State is also the fifth-most experienced team in regards to minute continuity. The Aztecs brought back 76.5% of their minutes from last season, ranking 15th overall.
NBC Sports Edge's Tools is on San Diego State to handle business. San Diego State is 10-0 ATS (100.0%) in its last 10 games versus teams with a winning ML record and a losing ATS record - that is also coming off a day or more of rest or more. The Aztecs are 4-1 ATS (80%) in their past five NCAA Tournament games.
I like the Aztecs to win outright and grabbed them on PointsBet the night lines came out for -130. Now around the -145 to -150 range, I would play San Diego State on the spread or wait to get them in-game and live for better value.
Game Pick: San Diego State ML (1u) - play up to -3
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